IHRA Chair Denounces Global Surge of Antisemitism Amid Israel-Gaza Crisis

Anti-Israel demonstrators in Vienna, Austria.

May 19, 2021

The ongoing violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip has been accompanied by a sharp spike in antisemitic incidents across the globe, including physical assault, verbal harassment, vandalism, and hate speech.

There are countless examples from the past week of the use of anti-Israel rhetoric that violates the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism and its accompanying list of examples detailing specific behaviors used to discriminate against Jews.

The Greek Chair of the IHRA Presidency, Ambassador Chris Lazaris, has issued a statement denouncing the current surge on Jew-hatred, saying, “We strongly condemn the antisemitic violence and hate speech that has taken place in response to the recent escalation of violence in the Middle East. While freedoms of speech and protest are essential pillars of all democracies, nothing can justify hate speech. We must unequivocally oppose all attacks targeting Jewish places of worship as well as antisemitic rhetoric, including holding Jews collectively responsible for events now developing in the Middle East.”

“In a world where antisemitism is on the rise, we must stand together and clearly denounce this as an attack on the cornerstones of a free and democratic society,” Ambassador Lazaris added.

“We call on the relevant authorities to ensure the protection of Jews and of Jewish places of worship against violence and hate speech,” he concluded.

A Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) database of recent antisemitism from around the world is available here.

A CAM video explaining the IHRA antisemitism definition can be viewed below:

The IHRA Definition of Anti-Semitism: A Solution from Combat Anti-Semitism on Vimeo.